Ken Rudin

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

In 2011, Rudin added to his duties by becoming part of the network's StateImpact project. This local-national journalism initiative will add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states, to better inform the public about the impact that the actions of state governments has on citizens and communities. Rudin mentors and advises these reporters on covering the effects politics and politicians have on people.

In addition to his role with StateImpact, Rudin continues to contribute NPR's political coverage. Every Wednesday, he can be heard on Talk of the Nation in the "Political Junkie" segment. In his "Political Junkie" weekly column on NPR.org, Rudin previews the politics of the week, and delves into campaign history, strategy and trivia, including the popular ScuttleButton contest.

Rudin was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance.

From 1983 through 1991, Rudin worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House. He first joined NPR in 1991, as its first political editor. Rudin returned to NPR in 1998, after a three-year absence during which he was the managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter. He also wrote the "Political Graffiti" column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.

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Political Junkie
5:48 am
Mon May 21, 2012

What Does Ron Paul Want? Hint: It's Not About The 2012 GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 12:16 pm

Ron Paul is not going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Even Ron Paul knows it. His acknowledgement that Mitt Romney will be the nominee is just stating the obvious.

But what exactly did he mean when he said last week that he will "no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not voted"? Was he telling us that he was dropping out of the race?

Not quite.

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Political Junkie
12:06 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 051512

I'm less concerned about why JPMorgan lost $2 billion on ScuttleButton futures than I am about you solving this week's puzzle.

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Political Junkie
5:27 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Obama & Gay Marriage: 'Courageous' Or Put Into A Corner?; Happy 300th Podcast!

President Obama participates in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC's Good Morning America in the White House on May 9. During the interview, Obama expressed his support for gay marriage, a first for a U.S. president.
The White House Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 10:04 am

The issue of same-sex marriage will long continue to fascinate and infuriate politics watchers everywhere, but this past week was especially impossible to ignore, starting last Sunday, with Vice President Biden's candid statement on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he is "absolutely comfortable" with it, through the Administration's torturous couple of days of attempting to "clarify" Biden's remarks, and culminating on Wednesday's interview for ABC's "Good Morning America, where President Obama "evolved" into embracing gay marriage once and for

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Political Junkie
10:38 am
Tue May 8, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 050812

Unlike President Obama, who says his views about ScuttleButton are "evolving," I'm hoping you are fully committed to these weekly puzzles.

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Political Junkie
11:49 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar May Not Survive Tuesday's GOP Primary

Both Democrats come off unsuccessful gov. campaigns; Barrett lost to Walker in 2010, and Falk lost the primary in 2006.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:03 pm

When Richard Lugar, the mayor of Indianapolis, first ran for the Senate, against Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in 1974, a big part of his problem was that he was a partisan Republican.

In fairness, there was nothing wrong with being a partisan Republican in good GOP years ... in, say, 1972, when President Richard Nixon was on his way to a landslide re-election and Lugar was the keynote speaker at the GOP national convention.

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Political Junkie
12:23 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 050112

Just a word to the wise, that if you are considering taking refuge in the American Embassy in Beijing, don't expect me to mail you a Political Junkie t-shirt if you happen to be the randomly chosen ScuttleButton winner.

And don't expect to be the randomly chosen ScuttleButton winner if you don't know how to play.

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Political Junkie
9:57 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Top Five Vice Presidential Picks Since 1960

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:21 am

With Mitt Romney having all but sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, there is only one task left for restless political junkies and reporters for the next four months: predict Romney's running mate.

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Political Junkie
8:29 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Who Will Be Romney's Running Mate?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at a campaign stop in Harrisburg, Pa., on Thursday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:45 am

Rick Santorum will get out of the race for the Republican presidential contest when he feels it's the right time, and the incessant "when will you drop out" questions to him are not going to change that. Will he last until the April 24 Pennsylvania primary? Will he end it this week? I think we can let Santorum leave the race when he wants.

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Political Junkie
5:45 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Mitt Romney, New Hampshire And The 'Expectations Game'

Romney's N.H. victory celebration four years ago was premature. But it may not be this time.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 1:09 pm

A handful of new polls are out, all of which have Mitt Romney ahead in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary by varying margins.

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Political Junkie
5:45 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:57 pm

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

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